Texas Projected to Produce 4 Million Bales;

High Plains Slated for 2.1 Million

Friday, October 14, 2011              by Mary Jane Buerkle

      Although the latest National Agricultural Statistics Service's Texas district estimates indicate that the High Plains will produce just more than 2.1 million bales of cotton in 2011, cotton industry experts believe the actual number will be lower.

      According to the report, that 2.1 million bales would be just more than half of the state's total crop, which currently is estimated at 4 million bales. To put this year in perspective, that state estimate of 4 million bales is lower than what the High Plains alone produced in 2010.

      The report states that 4.6 million acres of cotton were planted on the High Plains, and 1.84 million acres are expected to be harvested with an average yield of 576 pounds to the acre in the northern half of the Plains Cotton Growers service area and 536 pounds to the acre in the southern half.

      As more producers begin harvest, yields remain less than expected across the region. Gins in the northern Panhandle have lowered their projections, as fields they thought might yield two- to three-bale cotton aren't turning out as such.

      Grades this week remain good in color, and staple length for the week was 34.15, compared to 33.86 for the season. As of Thursday, Oct. 13, the Lubbock classing office had processed 55,799 samples.

      "We are hoping that as the rest of this crop comes in, the average staple length will adjust to the positive side," PCG's Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "It's still early in the harvest and only time will tell."

      However, the short, intense harvest predicted by many in the industry may turn out to be longer than previously thought as some producers are choosing to wait for a freeze instead of applying harvest aids.


Under Armour Celebrates Charged Cotton

in Lubbock

Friday, October 14, 2011              by Mary Jane Buerkle

      Cotton was everywhere last weekend during the Texas Tech-Texas A&M football game as Under Armour celebrated the launch of their new Charged Cotton line of apparel at the "Cotton Game" on October 8 in Lubbock.

      Under Armour worked with Cotton Incorporated to introduce cotton into their high-performance athletic wear, which previously had been constructed of synthetic materials. The 95% cotton and 5% elastane blend, woven with alternating hydrophobic and hydrophilic fibers, allows for a stretchy softness that dries up to five times faster than a regular cotton shirt.

      The weekend festivities consisted of Under Armour showcasing their "Armour One" mobile showroom on the Texas Tech campus, hosting a tailgate event before the game for those in the High Plains cotton industry, and outfitting the Texas Tech coaching staff in Charged Cotton gameday apparel, which consisted of a Charged Cotton polo shirt, quarter-zip jacket, caps and slacks. Under Armour representatives report that the coaches really liked the feel and the look.

      In addition, Cotton Incorporated Chairman Rickey Bearden, a cotton producer from Plains, Texas, and Mark Messura, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain Marketing for Cotton Incorporated, participated in the game ball presentation ceremony at midfield.

      Under Armour also featured their new Charged Cotton STORM line, which is water-repellent.

      This event was coordinated by Under Armour, Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board, and Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

      "This definitely is a win-win for the High Plains cotton industry," PCG's Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "Cotton once was the enemy to Under Armour, but we are thrilled that they have now embraced it and made it a part of their popular clothing line as Charged Cotton. We're proud to be a part of this event and look forward to celebrating one of the pillars of our area economy."


USDA Allows Haying of CRP Lovegrass,

Bluestem and Klein Grass Species

      The Texas FSA State Committee has the authority to approve haying Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres that will be converted from a Lovegrass, Bluestem or Klein grass to a native grass species cover on a case-by-case basis.

      Producers have until September 30, 2012, to request approval for haying acreage that will be converted from a Lovegrass, Bluestem or Klein grass to a native grass species; however, haying must be performed outside of the primary nesting and broodrearing season, which is March 1-July 1. FSA notes that it is important for producers to understand that this is not an extension of CRP emergency haying, but a separate haying authorization.

      Producers who want to request haying approval must make an appointment with their County FSA office and with their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to update their conservation plan to include the new haying activity. Producers cannot start haying until they receive approval notification from their County FSA office.

      Producers who receive authorization to hay will receive a 25 percent payment reduction from their annual rental payment unless the reduction is paid in advance. In addition, producers who receive haying approval will not receive cost-share assistance because it is not considered a component of seedbed preparation.

      For more information about haying CRP acres that will be converted from a Lovegrass, Bluestem or Klein grass to a mixed native grass species, contact your county FSA office.


Latner Named Executive Director of NCC's

Export Promotions Arm

      MEMPHIS The National Cotton Council announced that Kevin Latner, a veteran Foreign Agriculture Service attache, will become executive director of Cotton Council International.      CCI is the NCC's export promotions arm and carries out programs in more than 50 countries globally under the COTTON USA trademark. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CCI has offices in Memphis, London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai, along with a global network of representatives.

      Latner, who had worked for the U.S. Grains Council in Beijing and as an independent consultant on trade issues, holds three degrees from the University of California at Davis: a bachelor of arts in International Relations, a master's in Agricultural Economics and a Juris Doctor in International Trade Law.

      Latner also served 15 years in USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, the first five as an economist in Washington. He then spent five years as the U.S. agricultural attache in Tokyo, Japan, and five years in China as the attache in Beijing before serving as director of the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office in Chengdu.

      NCC President/CEO Mark Lange said Latner's government service and his experience with Asian agricultural markets and trade will be a tremendous benefit in guiding CCI's global efforts.

      "During the course of his career, Kevin has found his home in agriculture and agricultural trade, and we believe he will be a strong advocate for U.S. cotton and product exports."

      Latner, who begins on December 1 in Washington, DC, replaces the retiring Allen Terhaar who Lange praised for his outstanding leadership.

      "During Allen's tenure, CCI had unparalleled success in carrying out its mission of increasing exports of U.S. raw cotton, cottonseed and U.S. manufactured cotton products," Lange said. "Under Allen's leadership, CCI has consistently been one of the largest recipients of funding under the several export enhancement programs administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. Allen's accomplishments are exceptional as he managed CCI through some of the most turbulent and stressful periods seen in the world cotton market."


Cotton Incorporated to Host First Ever

24-Hour Cotton Runway Show

      MEMPHIS In an effort to increase consumer demand for the "Fabric of Our Lives", Cotton Incorporated announced a fashion first: a 24-hour fashion show of cotton apparel.

      The event, slated to occur in South Beach, Florida on November 19 and 20th, will showcase the versatility of cotton apparel for every hour of the day. In conjunction with media partner MTV.com, the event will also include a Cotton Style Search; a call for web uploads of individuals' personal cotton style.

      Cotton's 24-hour Runway Show is unique in both its duration and content. The event will feature 1,440 different cotton looks --- one look per minute --- segmented by hour-themed categories such as "Urban Chic," "Sunday Brunch", and "Pajama Party." "Only cotton can provide the combination of comfort and style to fill a full day of fashion," Says Ric Hendee, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing Services for Cotton Incorporated.

      The event brings to life the message of the company's well-known "The Fabric of Our Lives" television campaign, which currently presents day-in-the-life montages of Kate Bosworth and Zooey Deschanel dressed in classic, comfortable, and even couture cotton styles.

      "Our commercials show the cotton celebrity connection, but in conjunction with this event, we are asking fashion-minded citizens to show us their cotton style," says Hendee of the Cotton Style Search component. From October 14th to October 26th, an MTV.com microsite will accept uploaded images of "cottonistas" in their own fashion-forward cotton apparel. In keeping with the 24-hour theme, 24 participants will be selected and flown to South Beach to show their individual cotton style down on runway, and enjoy the entire event.



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